Small Town Copes With Girl’s Meth-Related Death


The town of Crothersville in southern Indiana has been shaken by the death of a 10-year-old girl who “stumbled on someone with methamphetamine,” the New York Times reports. Katlyn Collman’s drowned body was found five days later at a creek, her hands tied tightly behind her back.

Like many similar communities, Crothersville, 40 miles north of Louisville and with a population of 1,541, has seen methamphetamine seep into its streets. When the roof of a house behind the funeral home exploded in December, a makeshift meth lab was found in the fire. Another lab, near the school, was raided last year. “This town is not going to be known, and these people are not going to let it be known, for a murder,” said Terry Gray, the assistant chief of the volunteer fire department. “They’re going to be known as a town that took a bad situation and made it something good.” Authorities say that up to 90 percent of recent crime in the area is tied to drugs, mostly methamphetamine. In Jackson County, which includes Crothersville, meth-related arrests skyrocketed to 116 in 2004 from 29 in 2002. There have been 187 meth labs seized in the county since the first two were found in 1998; lab seizures statewide climbed to 1,549 last year from 177 in 1999.


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